Comparative Cultural Biography and Advocacy (Intro Activity)

Through this exemplar, what knowledge or experience might be generated? What do you see as the strengths of this model, and how might you adapt it to your practice? In what contexts might this template be useful as a starting point? How might you critique this approach? 

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  1. Dear colleagues, this is an exemplar project for students in their first semester in an educational studies program. They have not yet started studying methodology or methods, but we want them to begin thinking about contexts of production, about inequalities and inequities…any feedback you have on how we might strengthen this introductory project would be much appreciated.

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  2. Hi Noah, I have assigned this Comparative Cultural Biography as the introductory paper in my English methods course during students’ pre-practicum semester for the past several years–thank you for developing and sharing it! It has significantly raised student teachers’ awareness of cultural differences and has increased their openness to talking about race, ethnicity, and culture. Sharing out the results of each candidate’s work sets the tone for our entire year together, as they progress through their licensure requirements, student teaching, and entry into the profession as middle and high school English teachers. Furthermore, I just received NCTE’s SPA report for our upcoming CAEP review, and this assessment was singled out for praise. Reviewers commented: “This assessment helps students foreground themselves and others as cultural beings. This opens the door for consideration of cultural differences and norms and the impacts of those on all people– teachers and students alike.” Amen!

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